Biceps Tendon Repair
A biceps tendon rupture can be proximally or distally, at the shoulder or just distal to the elbow. It is usually the result of an injury, in middle age, when one experiences forceful resistive flexion of the elbow. When one experiences a distal biceps tendon rupture, the tendon ruptures from its insertion on the radial tuberosity, which is a small bump of bone on the radius bone in the forearm. One notices weakness in elbow flexion and a noticeable loss of the biceps prominence when one flexes the elbow.
When one experiences a distal biceps tendon rupture one may experience a portable pop or not. As with most medical conditions, early treatment is advised. The patient has the option to repair or not repair the biceps tendon. In the older age group, most would advise symptomatic treatment. In a younger individual, where maximum elbow flexion strength is required, surgical intervention is usually advised.
The surgery is a procedure whereby the distal biceps tendon is attached to its area of anatomic insertion into the radial tuberosity. Such surgery is usually done as an outpatient under a regional block with intravenous sedation or a general anesthetic. There are times especially when the diagnosis is delayed as a tendon graft may be necessary.
Postoperatively the patient is immobilized in a long-arm splint and at the appropriate time therapy recommended. Depending on the repair and surgery preference, the patient may be in a splint or cast for up to 6 weeks. It will take several months to obtain maximum medical benefit from the surgical procedure.